Projects / Programmes source: ARRS

The impact of CTL technology to forest and determination of criteria for its implementation

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
4.01.01  Biotechnical sciences  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Forest - forestry 

Code Science Field
B430  Biomedical sciences  Sylviculture, forestry, forestry technology 

Code Science Field
4.01  Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences  Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries 
Mechanized CTL harvesting, environmental impact, soil damages, criteria and indicators
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (12)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publications
1.  21136  Jaka Klun  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Technician  2016 - 2019  163 
2.  27605  PhD Milan Kobal  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2016 - 2019  338 
3.  17034  PhD Nike Krajnc  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2016 - 2019  910 
4.  12796  PhD Janez Krč  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Principal Researcher  2016 - 2019  308 
5.  37794  Vasja Leban  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Technician  2016 - 2019  109 
6.  11954  PhD Jurij Marenče  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2016 - 2019  121 
7.  29335  PhD Matevž Mihelič  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2016 - 2019  96 
8.  25668  PhD Špela Pezdevšek Malovrh  Biotechnical sciences  Researcher  2016 - 2019  269 
9.  22576  PhD Anton Poje  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2016 - 2019  129 
10.  06473  PhD Igor Potočnik  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2016 - 2019  264 
11.  11619  MSc Robert Robek  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2016 - 2019  292 
12.  27789  Iztok Sinjur    Technician  2016 - 2019  290 
Organisations (2)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publications
1.  0404  Slovenian Forestry Institute  Ljubljana  5051673000  11,842 
2.  0481  University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical Faculty  Ljubljana  1626914  64,298 
The forest operation processes are constantly modernising – technologically, technically and organizationally. The machinery introduced in the contemporary forest operation processes has a significant effect on forest ecosystems and forest soils in particular. The ecosystem vulnerability is being compromised partly due to increased machinery’s power and weight. The objectives of the proposed project entitled “The impact of CTL technology to forest and determination of criteria for its implementation” are: 1) to explore and evaluate the effects of contemporary harvesters and forwarders and diverse wood harvesting technologies on forest ecosystems, 2) to investigate the changes of carrying capacity of the forest soil from the perspective of the dynamics of climate drivers (in particular moisture and temperature), 3) to deliver expert foundations for unbiased and rapid assessment of forest soil conditions for feasible use of contemporary forestry machineries in different climate conditions, and 4) to improve the guidance of contemporary forestry harvesters use based on the assessment of conditions and tendencies of soil carrying capacity. The tasks for achieving the set objectives will be performed consecutively within the four Work Packages (WP). The most comprehensive ones are WP2 and WP3, entitled “Review of relevant literature, criteria selection and stratification” and “Measurements”, respectively. WP2 will encompass three tasks: in the WP2.1 we will investigate the environmental effects of forestry harvesters and relevant factors that contribute to soil damages. The work within WP2.2 will be dedicated to investigate the influences of heavy forestry machinery on soil trafficability. Finally, the guidelines for rational performance of measurements of soil trafficability in different climate conditions will be developed in the scope of WP2.3. The guidelines will be afterwards employed by the WP3. The WP3 consists of three tasks. In order to achieve the goals of the project and to meet the demands of the call we will be using the available knowledge from Slovenia and from abroad. If necessary, new solutions will be developed within the proposed project. The task WP3.1 work will be based on the results of the WP2. The objective of the task WP3.1 is to explore the effects of various environmental factors, for example, humidity, slope, soil frozenness and snow cover thickness, on soil trafficability. Two methodological approaches will be employed to investigate soil trafficability: a) the use of Cone Index (CI) as an indicator of soil trafficability, and b) the use of rapid assessment methods to evaluate soil trafficability. Both approaches will be used to establish a correlation between soil trafficability and soil moisture, as well as to establish a correlation between soil trafficability and soil frozenness. The second task group WP3.2 will employ the results of the WP3.1 to design the criteria and indicators for admissible use of harvesters and forwarders on various soil types and under different climate conditions. The task group WP3.3 will perform testing of the methods for unbiased and rapid assessment of forest soil conditions developed in other countries. The methods will be tested in domestic conditions, critically assessed and, if necessary, improved and adapted appropriately. The WP4 entitled “Communication and dissemination of results” is principally meant to efficiently communicate the results with key stakeholders. Eventually, feedback will be received and project solutions will be adjusted to stakeholder needs and current institutional and organizational environment in Slovenia. Herewith, a broad consensus and agreement of proposed solutions will be achieved. Besides, the WP4 aims to efficiently promote and disseminate the project results. Moreover, the WP4 will design a decision support system in case of changing performance flow of forestry works (e.g. temporary reduced soil trafficability, other limitations that
Significance for science
Forestry science and profession are constantly being challenged with ecological, economical and social issues of improving and upgrading the technological processes of forest harvesting. During the project we will be determining the suitability and resilience of forest soils to traffic with heavy machinery. The data that will be collected during the project duration will present the basis for exploring the eco-efficient bearing capacity of forest soils, as well as for other uses, including: - The development of decision support systems for all forest production phases (management, preparation of work, forest harvesting, control of operations) - The development of guidelines for evaluation of forest contractors that work in Slovenian forests - The support for decision making regarding the technological improvements and adaptations of the public forest service as well as forestry contractors and forest owners - Intervention in cases of evident deviations from optimal work practices in case of forest harvesting operations - Professionally argued public relations in cases of problematical uses of CTL harvesting   The guidelines and procedures produced in the scope of WP4 will define the activities and institutions responsible for the implementation when the adequacy of work using CTL machinery is compromised. Systemic solutions will also be proposed, including the list of participating parties and their responsibilities to ensure ecological, social and economic forestry works. Tools for adapting planning and execution of forestry work will be developed to facilitate and support the work of forestry contractors. An important advantage of the tool will be their usage for cases of restrictions arising due to the decreased soil bearing capacity as a result of climate and other factors.
Significance for the country
The criteria and indicators of suitable use of CTL mechanization at sensitive soils will allow forestry contractors (that operate such machinery) to estimate the potential use of their machinery on actual location of operation. The optimal use of CTL machinery is a crucial issue due to high investment costs of that machinery. Therefore, optimal planning and implementation of work processes in forest production is essential. Foreign research results suggest that long term planning of work (e.g. 3 years ahead) is important for achieving a high level of machinery utilization and efficiency. Besides, at least 10 % of areas are recommended to be kept in stock in order to provide a buffer in case of loss of regular cutting sites. Since forest soils are one of the essential and non-renewable parts of the forest ecosystems, the project aims at improving our knowledge of the use of modern technological solutions for wood production. Consequently, activities and processes in other fields of forestry profession (e.g. management, silviculture, protection of forests) require further adaptation.   The results of the project will yield a key scientific reference for cases of well performed forestry work. It will provide a benchmark and a reference for forestry and forest-related organizations (e.g. public forest service, the government, research and education, non-governmental organizations and forestry contractors).   Important parts of the project are also the guidelines and procedures that will adapt the results of our research to the institutional environment in the field of forestry, and therefore enable a higher level of work quality in forest production. We therefore believe that the project will have a positive and direct influence on the entire forest management system of Slovenia.   The findings of the proposed project will also be applicable to other uses or integrated with other systems, to mention only the system of forest certification. The additional knowledge gained during the project will enable forest certification bodies to ensure the safeguarding and sustainability of forest soils which are the key part of the ecosystem. Finally, the implementation of the project [results?] is not relevant only for commercial activities, but also represent a reference and a benchmark for conservation and protection of nature and natural resources.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2018, final report
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2016
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